A rare breed of cat, sometimes referred to as a "werewolf" cat, has been found on the streets in South Africa.
The Lykoi cat is a new breed of cat known for its unique appearance. What makes the Lykoi stand out from other felines is their patchy, werewolf-like coat caused by a naturally occurring genetic mutation.
When a stray kitten was picked up Tears Animal Rescue in Cape Town, South Africa, they had no clue just how special the little guy was.
After being rescued as part of a litter of six with their mother, veterinarians were perplexed by his appearance. His patchy fur had led them to believe he may be suffering from some sort of skin disease, such as mange, and took skin scraping to see if they could narrow down exactly what the issue was.
When the test results came back negative, veterinarians began to do further research to figure out what this little kitty could be. With the help of a USA-based Lykoi specialist, Dr. Johnny Gobble, they were finally able to solve the mystery of their special stray kitty who they had begun calling Eyona, a South African name that means "The One."
Eyona's identification as a Lykoi cat makes him the first natural mutation in South Africa and the 35th known natural occurrence in the world. While other cats are beginning to be bred to produce this mutation, Eyona is not one of those kitties.
Unsurprisingly, Tears Animal Rescue saw a fair amount of interest when it came time to find a forever home for Eyona. In the end, they found a home for him with one of the greatest feline experts and animal lovers.
Here's hoping that this is just the beginning of an increase in the prevalence of Lykoi cats worldwide. We can't get enough of them and their mythical appearance!
All images courtesy of Tears Animal Rescue.